Andrea Leadsom, the United Kingdom’s energy minister and a contender for the job of prime minister, announced Monday she was pulling out of the race, leaving Home Secretary Theresa May the only remaining candidate. The top job in the country was thrown wide open after Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation following the referendum in the country that voted to leave the European Union.
In a statement, Leadsom said “a nine week campaign is clearly not in the interest of jobs, growth and certainty at this momentous time for the U.K.” and also spoke in support for her rival: “Theresa May has the support of 60% of our parliamentary colleagues, and will be able to provide the strong and unifying government that we urgently need.”
In a newspaper interview over the weekend, Leadsom suggested that her being a mother would make her a better leader than May. On Monday, she also apologized to May for those remarks, the BBC reported.
Other prominent faces of the Conservative Party, including former London Mayor Boris Johnson and his fellow Brexit supporter Michael Gove, had dropped out of the race earlier. The formal process to announce May as the leader of the party has yet to take place. Once formally confirmed as the leader of her party, she will automatically replace David Cameron as prime minister.
The timeline for the transition is not yet known, but according to Graham Brady, chairman of a committee in charge of the leadership race, said the process would conclude “very soon.”
May will become the first woman prime minister of the U.K. since Margaret Thatcher, who was the first woman in that position in the country, and held the post from 1979 to 1990.